3 annoying things every tradie will understand


Current affairs TV programs feature stories about “dodgy tradies” ad nauseam, but what about nightmare clients? There are the micro-managers, those who change their mind at the drop of a hat, and then there’s the price hagglers. We look at 3 annoying things every tradie will understand and what you can do to avoid them.

“How much longer is this gonna take? I thought you’d be done by now”

Being a good tradie is not just about knowing the right end of a hammer, it’s about managing the client and their expectations. What might’ve sounded like a quick fix on the phone, can turn out to be a very different story when you’re on site – a 30-minute job can turn into a 3-hour one very quickly. And some client’s expectations can be hard to shift.

You might be tempted to cut a few corners to get the job done sooner to appease the client – don’t. Your business’ reputation is on the line with every job that you do, not to mention that faulty workmanship could leave you liable for damage or re-work, if something were to go wrong. Clearly explain that it’s in everyone’s best interest to get the job done right, and it should help to calm an impatient client.

"On second thoughts, can we put the water feature over there?”

Having a client who changes their mind every 10 minutes can not only be very frustrating, it can also eat through your carefully budgeted time and blow out the costs of a job. Which is why it’s vitally important to make sure your client is confident with the work that you’ve discussed.

If they’re umming and ahhing, it’s a sure sign that they’re not quite sure and may change their mind down the track. Lock in most – if not all – of the job details early. This way both parties will feel confident in moving forward and avoid any last-minute changes.

“But the bloke down at XYZ said he could do it for half that”

You’ve gone out to a client’s house, taken measurements, spoken about what they want and then quoted the job – only for the client to come back and say they can get it much cheaper elsewhere, even though you know damn well that the quote you’ve provided is reasonable for what they’ve asked for.

Explaining that you don’t cut corners with your products or services can be tricky to do, particularly if a client has their mind set on a certain price. It may not be in your job description, but educating your client on why certain things cost what they do will help you impress on your client that they’re buying something of value – your services.


Whether you’re dealing with mind-changers, price-hagglers or just downright impatient clients, good communication skills and valuing your services will make sure that you maintain your reputation. And it can also help make sure that you avoid issues with your work down the track. However, sometimes even the most carefully planned job can have problems, which is why some sort of tradies insurance cover – such as public liability insurance – can help to protect your business.

Make sure you have some form of public liability insurance to provide cover in case of personal injury or property damage. Not sure what type of tradies insurance you need? Speak to our friendly Business Insurance team today on 13 22 44  (8.30am - 6pm AEST/AEDT, Mon-Fri) to get a better understanding of your requirements, or get a quote online now and go back to doing what you do best.



Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 (AAI) trading as AAMI. Read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.